Lena Waithe has weighed in on Tyler Perry’s tweet from last week that touted his “work ethic,” where he said he wrote all of his television series himself, without a writers’ room.
“Every artist is different, and I gotta say, Tyler has been very supportive of me and a lot of other black artists,” Waithe told reporters in response to a question about Perry’s tweet on Tuesday at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour.
In the video Perry tweeted, he said: “So, I don’t know if you know this but all shows on television have a writers’ room, and most of the time there are 10 [or] 12 people that write these television shows. Well, I have no writers’ room. Nobody writes any of my work. I write it all. Why am I telling you this? I wrote all of these scripts by myself in 2019. What’s my point? Work ethic.”
Waithe was on hand to promote her BET comedy series “Twenties,” which follows a queer black girl in her 20s and her two straight best friends. She also pointed out the benefits of hearing other writers’ opinions.
“I wrote that pilot [for ‘Twenties’] loosely based on my life, but the show is better because of all the people who came in and helped me see it a different way,” she said.
“It’s a very interesting family we have, and I think Black Hollywood is a family. We have our issues like everybody else, but sometimes family business is family business. And also Black Hollywood is big business. My thing is, I cannot do everything by myself,” she continued. “There’s no way. I think people like to believe that, I think that’s easy for them to say, yeah, that’s all you. But the truth is I have so many amazing writers, phenomenal writers who have brought these characters to life.”
“And when these young writers say, ‘Well, I have the first 10 scripts written’ — Well, what if another writer had an idea that might be better than yours?” she continued. “Amazing actors [tell me] they have thoughts and ideas, and they talk to me, and I go, ‘Oh okay, yeah, that makes more sense or that’s funnier.’ I like being collaborative. But there’s some people who can do it all themselves. I’m just not one of those artists.”
See Perry’s tweet and video below:
WORK ETHIC!! Come on. Let’s go get 2020!!! pic.twitter.com/BzADIi1rAa
— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) January 6, 2020